Author Topic: First time water adjustment  (Read 961 times)

Offline txk54

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First time water adjustment
« on: July 06, 2016, 11:50:58 AM »
I'll be brewing an APA this weekend and finally feel comfortable enough with the all grain process to add in water adjustment to my brew day. I'd like to make sure I'm on the right track.

Using ez water calculator (it had an open office version) I plugged in my water profile and grain bill:
Na 11
Mg 7
Ca 33
Cl 22
SO4 30
CaCO3 120

13 lbs 2 row
.75 lbs light Munich
.25 crystal 60 L
.25 carapils

To get in the ballpark of some pale ale water profiles I've seen, I'll need to add 6 grams of gypsum to the mash and 4.2 to the kettle. This seems like a lot, but I've never done this before so I really don't know if it's a lot.

I'll also need to add 4ml of lactic acid (88%) to get the ph down to 5.45. Do I add that to the strike water? Is 4ml a lot to add? Do I need to acidify my sparge water? I batch sparge.

Adding the gypsum ups my Ca to 107 and SO4 to 211. Are those numbers reasonable for an APA?

Thanks for any input/advice.


Offline TexasHumuluslupulushead

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Re: First time water adjustment
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 12:03:07 PM »
Ibhave found that ez water always has me add too much. Over time I have dialed my additions in as follows-  keep in mind I use 100% RO water(clean slate):

IPA grain bill and salt additions:

14.25# 2row
C20 10oz
Carapils 10oz

4.8g mash(I only add salts to mash water)

Salt additions:
6g Gypsum
4g Calcium Chloride
3g Epsom
2.1 ml Lactic acid

Target pH 5.3. (Actual on this brew was 5.32)

My target is always on the lower end for IPAs.  Yes it does drop my effeciency a bit but I find that it intensifies my hops and thats my end goal. Keep in mind I am using 100% RO Water. I had thiese same questions when I started adding salts. Honestly he best advice I can give you is brew your recipe, keep excellent notes, make your salt additions and make adjustments on your next few batches until you get what you're looking for. It ahould inly take a few batxhes if that...  Good luck, hope this helped
I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.    -- Dean Martin

Offline txk54

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Re: First time water adjustment
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 11:33:27 AM »
Thanks for the example. It did help put things in perspective.

I'll likely dial down the salt additions, take good notes and go from there. I mostly brew pale hoppy beers so dialing in this water profile shouldn't take too long.

Offline txk54

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Re: First time water adjustment
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 04:51:48 PM »
I ran out of CO2 while carbing this beer and didn't notice right away so I'll have to wait a bit longer to taste the final product.

Adjusting the water/ph did help my mash efficiency. I had tried double milling and recalibrating my thermometer with no improvement. I'm more in line with what I expected batch sparging.

In a few days I'll be able to tell it tastes any better or worse.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: First time water adjustment
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 10:13:43 PM »
Yeah, people often cite that you have to get a long way outside of the ideal range before you start drastically impacting mash efficiency. What they often overlook is that for someone who is new to water adjustments, adding 5mL of acid versus 1.5mL doesn't seem like a big deal (but that can be a huge swing in pH). Add to that a few grams more than necessary of CaCl and CaSO4 and now you can be WAY off base. For people who are measuring with a teaspoon, it's easy to do.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First time water adjustment
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2016, 10:16:57 PM »
Yeah, people often cite that you have to get a long way outside of the ideal range before you start drastically impacting mash efficiency. What they often overlook is that for someone who is new to water adjustments, adding 5mL of acid versus 1.5mL doesn't seem like a big deal (but that can be a huge swing in pH). Add to that a few grams more than necessary of CaCl and CaSO4 and now you can be WAY off base. For people who are measuring with a teaspoon, it's easy to do.


Yep agreed. Gram scale is far superior.
Jon H.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: First time water adjustment
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 10:22:08 PM »
Yeah, people often cite that you have to get a long way outside of the ideal range before you start drastically impacting mash efficiency.

I just observed this first hand earlier this week when brewing my American Blonde ale up. Was shooting for a 5.3 in the mash, and way undershot my pH ending up with a 5.08!  WTF?  I just brewed that recipe a month earlier and had no problem nailing the mash pH. I did use Rahr 2-row for the latest one and even went by Martin B's suggestion of bumping up the Lovibond to 5 on Brun water to compensate for that grain's extra acidity. Maybe that lot was a bit more acidic than even anticipated? 

Anyway, missed my OG by 4 points under which on a small gravity beer is a pretty big miss for me. Was chalking it up to low mash pH and now I'll have to wait and see how this low pH effects the overall flavor and body. Hoping for the best as fermentation proceeded as per usual.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: First time water adjustment
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 10:27:43 PM »
Yeah I would love to see Brulosophy do some mashing pH tests in the 5.1 and 5.9 range. Those aren't as hard to hit as you'd think, and in my experience there has been a noticeable impact on both flavor and efficiency.

Unfortunately I did this along time ago and it was obviously not on purpose. I have not had a chance to go back and do any intentional side-by-side.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: First time water adjustment
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2016, 10:29:20 PM »
Yeah I would love to see Brulosophy do some mashing pH tests in the 5.1 and 5.9 range. Those aren't as hard to hit as you'd think, and in my experience there has been a noticeable impact on both flavor and efficiency.

Unfortunately I did this along time ago and it was obviously not on purpose. I have not had a chance to go back and do any intentional side-by-side.

Do you remember what you noticed with the lower end mashing with regards to flavor impact?